Electronics and precision engineering is a process of very high accuracy engineering and manufacturing that cannot be done by the human eye. Electronics and precision engineering is a broad term branching from technological, healthcare, optical and research and development engineering. The electronics and precision engineering companies contribute strongly to the economy and Singapore’s Gross Domestic Produce as (Chia, 2017) states that “the growth in the electronics and precision engineering clusters is expected to remain strong for the rest of the year”.
The contribution of these companies in Singapore economy
In an age where technology is so advanced the need for technology in this day and age would be very great and that is where companies in the electronics and precision engineering industry comes in as it would steadily contribute to the employment rate in Singapore thereby boosting the economic growth of Singapore due to supply and demand in the market (Boon, 2016). As there is a rising consumption of the precision engineering products and services (The Economist Unit Intelligence Limited, 2012). The electronics and precision engineering industry contributed to (Hui, 2016) reported “three thousand jobs for professionals, executive, managers and technicians in the precision engineering sector”. The precision engineering industry contributed to S$34 billion of output in 2015 which is projected to increase to S$42 billion by 2020 (Economic Development Board, 2018).
The electronics and precision engineering companies boosted the economic growth and with the electronics and precision engineering growth steadily contributing to the economy more jobs are being created thereby solving the issue and increasing the employment rate in Singapore. With the robust and steady growth in the electronics and precision engineering industry, it is also stated that 6 in 10 jobs by 2020(Hui, 2016) would be in the Precision Engineering industry, the government would also train and equip workers in the Electronics and Precision Engineering industry under the new Skills Framework that are jointly developed by different Singapore government organizations coming together to develop the programme used to train individuals (Skills Future, 2017).
As Skills Framework for Precision and Engineering is being launched to train and better equip workers and employer as well as the training providers with the knowledge and skills, they would have made Singapore’s electronics and precision engineering industry have a competitive advantage. Workers who have better knowledge with the training and development which they received would be better equipped and more confident of themselves thereby strengthen the skills that they already currently posses bringing them and the company to a whole new level. Investments of S$313 billion (Economic Development Board, 2018) are being made to the Research and Development and also with government launching the SkillsFuture to train the workers thereby improve and increase the competitiveness and production process so that Singapore’s economy can prosper (Neo, 2018).
The contribution of the electronics and precision engineering companies expanding and making profit thereby leading to Singapore’s economic growth to boost and the Gross Domestic Produce. As the Electronics and Precision Engineering companies expand and are making a profit with the workers being highly trained with the right skill set the amount of experience would lead to the increase of income for them (Adecco, 2018). The electronics and precision and engineering companies have estimated to have committed S$427 million in 2016 to Fixed Asset Investments (FAI) leading to increased wealth creation for Singapore which makes up to 2.3% of overall Singapore’s economy (Tan, 2017).
Constraints of these companies in Singapore economy
Some of the constraints faced by the electronics and precision engineering companies are lack of manpower, finding talent with the right skill set and the unfamiliarity with the technologies being used (Yong, 2017). Electronics and precision engineering companies in the Singapore economy has grown and expanded by a 4.8% every year (Department of Statistics, 2018) over the years but the industry and workers are still relatively new to the technologies that are being used and as employers they are forced to settle the issue on the lack of manpower. Government might have funding and investments being made for the precision engineering industry but levies being implemented costing on average about S$650 per month for a basic skilled tier 3 worker (Ministry of Manpower, 2018) so it might depend on the organisation if the organisation can handle the exorbitant cost of hiring a foreign overseas worker.
With the lack of manpower orders for the Electronics and Precision, Engineering companies would be turned down as the orders cannot be fulfilled with the given timeline resulting in low productivity (HR in Asia, 2014). As employers cannot settle the issue due to the lack of manpower in the Electronics and Precision industry, employers are forced to hire from within as 40% of employers are facing shortages of manpower (Rayome, 2016). As it still does not settle the issues on workers being unfamiliar with no real knowledge of the technologies that are being used.
Results have shown that employers recruit 19% (Rayome, 2016) of workers that are majoring in the electronics and precision engineering field lacking in experience, employers would still have to take the time to train the staff as they do not have any experience as they are fresh graduates from school, which the company might not be able to afford the time to train them. Hiring fresh graduates that majors in precision engineering might be better for the company as they have the relevant knowledge and might be able to learn faster and adapt better than those who are totally new with no electronics and precision engineering knowledge or experience which would be easier to train.
With the electronics and precision engineering constraints faced by the companies in Singapore and employers recruiting 36% of workers without the right skill set (Rayome, 2016) would have to train and develop the worker. The lack of financing would also put employers in a bind with the lack of financing employers might not be able to send workers to courses and training to help them develop the right skill set. Lack of financing would be a bind most companies would find themselves in with the unit business cost increasing by 3.4% (Ministry of Trade and Industry, 2018) resulting in the increased cost of production and labour cost of 2.9% points (Woo, 2017) with no financial means of promoting and marketing the company’s goods and services to attract potential customers (Ministry of Trade and Industry, 2016).
Steps to strengthen these companies in Singapore
Singapore government have taken steps to strengthen the electronics and precision engineering companies. One of the steps to government has taken to strengthen the companies in Singapore is to attract talent with the right skill set from all over the world. To attract talents from all over the world Singapore government came up with schemes and benefit of working in Singapore, overseas talent would be able to apply for Singapore permanent resident after working in Singapore for more half a year. To attract and encourage overseas talent to stay and work in Singapore, children would be able to apply for a public school and family of the overseas talent would be able to come to Singapore to stay (First Immigrations, 2017). With this form of marketing to attract more overseas talent, Singapore would be able to strengthen the industry. Overseas talent has grown and throughout the year as the employment rate for overseas foreign talent grown to 84,800 in the year 2011, and currently there are 1,393,000 foreigners being employed in Singapore, from 1,197,900 in the year 2011(Koh, 2017).
Singapore government has also taken steps to strengthen the electronics and precision engineering companies by launching schemes and also funding for the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) (National Trades Union Congress, 2017). By launching the productivity solutions scheme investing S$110 million (Heng, 2018), workers and employers alike would be able to solve the constraints like unfamiliarity of the technologies used and cost of production. The government has also put in place business grants for businesses and also businesses and who are sending in a worker for training and development (Economic Development Board, 2018). With the launching of the new SkillsFuture Singapore in 2016 trained and equipped 97.2% of individuals and 95.7% of employers with the right skill set, a total of 418,000 individuals taking up 950,000 vacancies with over 80,000 Singaporeans benefit from the framework (Skills Future Singapore, 2017).
Singapore has tried to attract more potential workers and employees through initiatives and schemes investing S$76 million programmes (Economic Development Board, 2018) to attract a new generation of engineering talent to deepen the skills of the manpower being hired. The scheme was launched in the year 2007, and over 800 diploma level graduates have been trained and hired in the industry and in the year 2012, another S$52 million training programmes are being launched to upgrade the manpower being hired (Economic Development Board, 2018). To enhance the competitive advantages of a company and its competitors, a company can make use of EDB’s newly launched tool; Smart Readiness Index (Bhunia, 2017).
This tool was designed to help Singapore to strengthen its position as a global manufacturing hub as this tool would help companies to boost the total manufacturing output, labor productivity by 30%, and create 22,000 new jobs in Singapore by 2024 (Economic Development Board, 2017). To strengthen the company’s competitive advantages management can come up with various strategies like the development of progressive technologies and to consider strategic business alliances to reduce cost as business alliances with the negotiations of prices companies might be able to share the burden of the rising costs as the risks might also be shared between the business alliances. By improving the technologies the product quality that is produced would also increase thereby gaining competitive advantages against competitors.
The future prospects of these companies in Singapore would depend on the young entrepreneurs with new innovation and ideas with high motivation and the drive to surpass the older generation to improve strategies and processes. With the technology so advanced younger generations would not stop innovating and improving their technologies, processes and innovations to gain more competitive advantage.
As the reliability and quality of the products improve by adopting globalization and expanding overseas globally the future of Singapore’s electronics and precision engineering would steadily increase and grow making Singapore into one of the world’s leading hub for manufacturing.
By adopting globalization production cost and any other cost might significantly reduce due to ability to source for more choices internationally, as the growth of the industry would continue to increase. As costs are significantly reduced, quality and reliability of products would also increase resulting in customer satisfaction gaining world renowned fame, thus cement industry growth in Singapore.